Rep. Liz Cheney Disagrees With VP's Comparison of Jan. 6 to Pearl Harbor, 9/11

Susan Jones | January 7, 2022 | 5:53am EST
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Rep. Liz Cheney  (R-Wyo.) has made herself a pariah to Republicans. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) has made herself a pariah to Republicans. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Republican Rep. Liz Cheney is as determined as any Democrat to make sure Donald Trump never again becomes president. She is one of two anti-Trump Republicans sitting on the House select committee to investigate the events of January 6, 2021.

And while she "agreed with" some of the remarks made by President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on the one-year anniversary of the attack, she wouldn't go as far Harris did in comparing the attack on the U.S. Capitol to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the September 11 attack on the United States.

"Well, I thought that there were a number of things that they said that I agreed with," Cheney told Fox News Thursday evening.

I think when you look at what happened, and at the attack that happened on January 6, I think it's different from what happened on 9/11, different from Pearl Harbor. Obviously, 3,000 Americans died in each of those events -- each of those attacks.

But this was a mob that was summoned by and provoked by the president of the United States in an effort to stop the counting of electoral votes, which is a constitutional process.

And so, I do think the attacks are very different. I think there is a grave threat, certainly, to our system, to our constitutional institutions. And I think we have to set partisanship aside, and party politics aside to get to the bottom or what happened and make sure that it doesn't happen again.

Democrats on Thursday used the January 6 anniversary to push their voting legislation, which would set federal election rules that are weaker than those set by some states. Both Harris and President Biden used their January 6 speeches to plug the two Democrat bills, H.R. 1 and H.R. 4:

"Here in this very building, a decision will be made about whether we uphold the right to vote and ensure free and fair elections," Harris said. "Let's be clear. We must pass voting rights bills that are now before the Senate..."

According to President Biden: "Right now, in state after state, new laws are being written not to protect the vote but to deny it, not only to suppress the vote but to subvert it..." Biden said, "we have to be firm, resolute, and unyielding in our defense of the right to vote and have that vote counted."

(Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Democrats' argument that voting rights are "under attack" is the Democrats' "big lie.")

Cheney noted that she voted against both voting bills that Democrats are clamoring to pass:

"Well, I have strong policy disagreements with both H.R. 1 and H.R. 4, as you noted, I voted against those. I think the committee has important legislative work to do, though. We need to look at things like, are there reforms necessary to the Electoral Count Act?

We need to look at things like, are there enhanced penalties that are necessary for a president who fails to come to the aid of Congress, who fails to come to the aid of any coequal branch of government?

We need to look at things like the dereliction of duty. When President Trump -- you know, we know he sat in the dining room next to the Oval Office while the attack was underway. He could have, at any moment, taken a few steps down the hall to the briefing room, gone on live television, and urged his supporters to stop and go home -- and he didn't do that.

And so, there are real legislative questions the committee needs to answer and needs to think about. But that doesn't mean that we're going to have complete agreement, or that I certainly agree with policy matters that I have not agreed with in the past.

Host Bret Baier asked Cheney, "What's the ultimate goal of the January 6 Committee?"

"We have several goals," Cheney replied:

"One is obviously the legislative purpose that I've mentioned, the extent to which there may be legislation or enhanced penalties, for example, that we need to look at to make sure this never happens again.

"We also need to ensure the American people know the truth, that the American people understand minute by minute...The American people need to have the truth about what happened."

Cheney said the committee's goal is not to prevent Trump from running again, although that's certainly how it appears:

"You know, we are a committee of Congress. Our responsibility is a legislative purpose to determine what laws we have in place, what additional laws we might need to prevent an attack like that from ever happening again, and we need to understand what happened.

We need to know what members of this body were doing, what they were engaged in. One of my colleagues, Scott Perry, for example, was very active in attempting to have Jeffrey Clark appointed as attorney general.

We need to understand what happened. You know, the peaceful transfer of power is fundamental to the survival of our republic. And we all have a duty to ensure that peaceful transfer of power every four years.

Cheney said the committee is also looking at security lapses that allowed protesters to get inside the Capitol:

"But it's important, Bret, to remember that, if you say that the security lapses at the Capitol are to blame for the assault on the Capitol by a mob provoked by President Trump, that's the same thing as saying that the small business owners whose businesses were burned to the ground last summer by antifa and BLM rioters -- that the small-business owners are responsible for that. And that's wrong."

Cheney said she shares the concerns of ordinary Americans who think the attack on the Capitol was disgraceful but are more worried about day-to-day issues such as the economy and COVID and their children's education.

"I voted with President Trump 93 percent of the time, more than most Republican members of the House of Representatives. I'm a conservative Republican. I believe that the policies of the Biden administration are bad for this country,” Cheney said.

“But I also know that this country must go forward on a basis of truth. We've got to be faithful to the Constitution and the rule of law, and that if we aren't faithful to those things, and if we don't tell the truth about history, then the institutions themselves begin to unravel.

“So, if we want to be in a position where we can advocate conservative policies again, we've got to tell the truth about January 6, and we have to make sure that it never happens again.”

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